It happens seldom, but it does happen and when it happens I am usually as shocked as anybody. Charlie Nicholas has gotten something right for once. In selecting his team of the year he has picked six Celtic players. There is much sneering at this. But I defy anybody to put up a coherent argument against even one of his choices.
In point of fact, I would have added another player – Cameron Carter Vickers – to his team. But that’s by the by. Nicholas has picked six whereas I would have picked seven.
I don’t believe there is the slightest debate about who the six are.
The first is Joe Hart. Who would the critics have put in his place?
McGregor I suppose, but he has been shuffled in and out of the Ibrox team whereas Hart has been almost ever present in the Celtic team. Nicholas doesn’t list Cameron Vickers; the inference is that none of our defenders has been up to much. I’d argue that point, but it makes it all the more impressive that we’re sitting on the best defensive record in the league.
That is due, in no small part, to the keeper.
There are numerous examples of him making top class saves at critical moments in games this season. As far as I’m concerned there’s no argument that he has been the best keeper in the country.
The second choice Nicholas makes is Tony Ralston.
Beyond a doubt. The idea that Tavernier has been better is barmy.
Patterson hasn’t played enough games and I would argue that Ralston has been head and shoulders better even on the days when he has. Tony Ralston is a candidate for player of the year.
Only biased fools would even dispute it.
Nicholas selects two of Celtic’s midfield three.
He picks captain Callum McGregor and Tom Rogic. His other midfield selection is Aribo, so the only other player who could get into that team in place of one of those two is in it alongside them. There is no disputing that both players deserve their place in the team of the year either. They have been excellent.
And if the first four players are pretty hard to argue with there’s simply no point in even putting up a fight when it comes to the last two because nobody would even attempt to put up a coherent argument against the inclusions of Jota and Kyogo.
Honestly, the whinging over this is simply stupid.
Nicholas is a grade one fool, and we all know he is, but he’s not always wrong, and this is Nicholas’ broken clock moment. He has this one spot on and I cannot believe anyone would realistically argue with it.
As I said, I would have Carter Vickers in the team as well, as a reflection of our having the best defence in the country, but that aside I am in total agreement with his selections of the six players from Parkhead who he’s named.
These things are subjective, that’s what the critics will say.
Well it would be interesting to see what argument they propose against the inclusion of a single one of the six.
I know clowns like Boyd will try and put forward heavily biased teams … I don’t think Nicholas has done that. He’s simply selected the players who stand out to him and he’s got it spot on.